Here, we hope to explore adoption as an ever shifting dynamic. A process, a verb, a psychological transaction that takes place continuously between adoptive parent, adoptee, first families, and the larger culture.

Adoption is inherently a dialogue that requires that we transcend our our individual perceptions and perspectives, for the purpose of raising strong, healthy children to adulthood.

Race, class, and privilege are elemental aspects of this dialogue.



Joy Lieberthal, LCSW received her B.S. from Union College and her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University.  She has been working in the field of adoption for the last 12 years professionally and through various volunteer organizations.  She was a Policy Analyst for the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute where she co-authored the Report on the First Gathering of Adult Korean Adoptees in Washington, DC and has also been published by Child Welfare League of America in their Adoption and Ethics series.  She also worked for Adoptive Families Magazine.  Joy was a social worker in international placement for Spence-Chapin Services in NYC and ultimately worked in their post-adoption department for six years.  During that time Joy has worked as a counselorfor children and parents, presented at workshops related to issues around being adopted, facilitated Spence-Chapin’s Kids Groups, facilitated teen groups, and helped to create the highly successful youth Mentorship program.  She has created curricula for agencies and professionals on a wide variety of topics – such as preparing for birth country visits, an overview of clinical issues inadoption – as they relate to helping families and children around adoption issues.  Joy has spoken in local and national forums, in particular, at the Joint Council on International Children Services, Adoptive Parents Committee, Families with Children from China and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.  She is currently in private practice and works primarily with kids and young adults who are adopted.  She is also a counselor at The Juilliard School in Manhattan.  Joy is adopted from South Korea.  She came to her family just shy of her sixth birthday.  She grew up in New York.  She was the president for six years of Also-Known-As, a NY based non-profit volunteer organization for internationally adopted people and families.  She was on the planning committee for the First Gathering of Korean Adoptees in 1999 as well as the Gathering in Korea in 2004.  She lived in Korea for a year working in an orphanage.  During that time she learned how to speak Korean, learned that her birthmother had been searching for her for 21 years and learned that her identity as a Korean adopted person was a significant aspect of who she is.   She has been in reunion with her birthmother since 1994.

Joy writes a blog: Adoption Echos: How the adoption story continues long after you’ve figured it out.
At adoptionechoes.com

You can contact Joy to set up a consultation at:
tradition@gmail.com or phone 917/797.1945



Martha M. Crawford, LCSW, is an adoptive parent and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City.  In her seventeen years of practice, she has worked as a clinical consultant for adolescents in foster care and group home settings, with adults who have survived trauma and abuse and bereavement, and has been honored to work with many adult adoptees and with adoptive parents as well. She is also the founder and on the board of “All Together Now,” a non-profit support organization for adopted kids and their families facilitated by adult and adolescent adoptees. Martha is the author of the blog “What a Shrink Thinks,” a psychotherapist’s journal.

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